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Immigration to automate visa tracking system

By Moses Walubiri, Lisa Nsaba

Added 26th July 2019 07:25 AM

Under the mooted system, the DCIC will be able to receive alerts upon expiry of the visa.

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Under the mooted system, the DCIC will be able to receive alerts upon expiry of the visa.

IMMIGRATION     VISAS

Non-citizens who have over the years found it easy to melt into the Ugandan populace upon expiry of their visas will soon find it hard to pull off the feat when Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC)  rolls out automation of a visa tracking system.

Under the mooted system, the DCIC will be able to receive alerts upon expiry of the visa.  

The revelation is part of documents submitted to the Public Accounts Committee yesterday as part of a response to queries raised by the Auditor-General, John Muwanga, in his audit report for the financial year ending June 2013.

The technocrats from DCIC were led by the entity’s Director, Maj. Gen. Apollo Kasiita-Gowa.

“It’s true that the current e-visa system does not track the expiry of the visa. However, the system is being upgraded to issue alerts upon expiry of the facility held by non-citizens in order to ease enforcement,” DCIC notes in its response.

As the DCIC awaits the rollout automation of the system, MPs heard that its department of legal and compliance which is charged with the responsibility of compliance to enforce the removal of aliens whose visas have expired.

In his query, Muwanga had noted that notwithstanding the issuance of visas being a major source of Non-Tax Revenue, the DCIC lacked a clear system to track the expiry of the granted visas.

“In most cases, people stay beyond the validity of their visas without being detected and fined,” Muwanga noted.

Attempts to get a comment from DCIC spokesperson, Jacob Siminyu as to when the entity intends to roll out the automation system proved futile.

Although a number of non-citizens live and work in Uganda, few go through the known points of entry that would attract visa fees.

With long porous borders along with five neighboring countries, Ugandan immigration officials and security agencies have normally arrested and deported non-citizens over the years.

Meanwhile,   six top technocrats at DCIC that had been interdicted over a wide range of alleged illegalities have been cleared following extensive investigations into their conduct.

Among those whose interdictions have been lifted include Anthony Namara, Job Wasaja, Esther Nabukenya, Margaret Namutebi, Gloria Nankya, and Geoffrey Adiba.

However, former head legal and one-time acting director, Josephine Ekwang, Nicholas Ongodia, Jabel Male, Eden Kato Ntegeka and Norbert Piwang are still under investigation.

For Godfrey Wanzira Sasagah, a former director who was on interdiction for more than a year, his case has been concluded and retired.

Ekwang and Ongodia were interdicted at the same time in November last year. The former had just taken over from Sasagah in acting capacity seven months earlier.

Ekwang and Ongodia are accused of sanctioning a large consignment of passports in total disregard of the fact that Uganda was transiting into the issuance of East African e-passport which has a micro-chip able to store more data. 

In response to committee chairperson, Nandala Mafabi ‘s query as to why DCIC’s top offices have of late turned into a revolving door,  Kasiita-Gowa said those interdicted sanctioned policies that ran counter to the entity’s vision of transiting to e-passports.

Also related to this story

Immigration officials sound alarm over fake e-visa sites

 UK debuts mobile phone visa applications

Kadaga decries visa restrictions

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